Visitors to Baron’s Haugh Nature Reserve in Motherwell are being asked remain vigilant to any signs of anti-social behaviour.
This comes after local residents reported adverse incidents such as burned out tree logs and tree stumps, a stolen angling sign, a broken bench and smashed bottles to Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig councillor Nathan Wilson.
Upon hearing of these incidences of vandalism, Councillor Wilson made immediate contact with officials at the RSPB, who have managed the bird sanctuary since 1983, and they provided him with an update on the current situation.
The RSPB warden at the site advised that he had arranged for a clean-up of the affected areas; had removed the broken bench from the site; and would seek to replace the stolen angling sign.
He also informed Councillor Wilson that in addition to the teams of volunteers who patrol the area on a weekly basis, the RSPB have also recently hired an assistant warden for the first time in order to combat the anti-social behaviour issues.
The police have also been conducting regular patrols at Baron’s Haugh and informed Councillor Wilson there has been a marked reduction in adverse incidents over the past few weeks.
Much of the vandalism at Baron’s Haugh has been concentrated at the ‘Phoenix Hide’ where youths have been spotted drinking alcohol and subsequently smashing bottles.
At the beginning of May, a 20-litre petrol tank was also taken into the hide with those involved subsequently attempting to set it on fire.
Councillor Wilson has asked the police if it would be possible for them to prioritise this area when carrying out patrols.
He said: “Baron’s Haugh and the adjoining Dalzell Estate are spectacular facilities that we are very lucky to have here in Motherwell and North Lanarkshire.
“It is therefore concerning to hear that some individuals have been engaging in acts of vandalism at the sites such as smashing bottles after drinking alcohol in the Phoenix Hide, burning tree logs and tree stumps along with destroying a bench regularly used by visitors.
“I would like to thank the police for the attention that they have given to this matter and would encourage individuals making use of the nature reserve to report any instances of anti-social behaviour that they witness to them.”
This Saturday explore The World of Wildflowers with a guided walk around Baron’s Haugh from 2-4pm.
The event costs £4 for adults, £2 for children, and is free to RSPB members.
For more information about this and other events visit www.rspb.co.uk